HomeTravelsThousands of flights delayed and canceled during busy July 4 travel weekend

Thousands of flights delayed and canceled during busy July 4 travel weekend

Travelers are returning to airports in record numbers before the pandemic this July 4 holiday weekend, but continue to face thousands of flight delays and cancellations, the data shows.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 2,490,490 passengers at airport security checkpoints on Friday — the most since Feb. 11, 2020, when it screened more than 2.5 million passengers, agency spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted Saturday.

On the same day, 464 U.S. domestic and international flights were canceled and more than 6,600 were delayed, according to flight tracker FlightAware, which noted they accounted for 28.8% of total scheduled flights.

More than 930 flights within, to or from the United States were delayed Sunday morning and more than 200 were canceled, according to FlightAware. John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago had the highest rates of delays and cancellations.

Fifty-three flights to or from the United States had already been canceled for July 4 on Sunday morning, according to FlightAware.

Sunday’s cancellations followed Saturday’s 5,893 delays and 655 cancellations inside, inside or outside the United States.

The July 4 weekend flight cancellations and delays also follow those of the June 16 and Father’s Day weekend, which included the busiest air travel day of the year before Friday and recorded more than 3,300 flight cancellations Friday through Monday, and Memorial Day weekend, when about 2,700 flights were canceled.

Staff shortages, and the shortage of pilots in particular, have led some airlines to preemptively cut thousands of flights for the summer season.

Airline executives blamed understaffing at the Federal Aviation Administration for flight cancellations and delays. The FAA disputed the claim in a statement.

In an interview last month with The Associated Press, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he wanted to wait and see how air travel goes over the July 4 weekend and the rest of the summer before to determine whether his department would take enforcement action against the airlines.

Buttigieg tweeted on Saturday that passengers can request refunds for canceled flights, noting in a thread that his own connecting flight was canceled on Friday evening and that he requested a refund of $112.

“Airlines offer miles as compensation for certain travel issues, and you can often negotiate about that. It’s between you and the airline,” Buttigieg said. tweeted. “But you are entitled to cash refunds for canceled flights – it’s a requirement we will continue to enforce.”

FlightAware spokeswoman Kathleen Bangs said she expects the wave of cancellations to level off by the fall as airlines cut schedules and aim to hire more pilots and other airline employees.

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